Date of Thesis

Spring 2021


My research question asks why American Jews usually hold hostile attitudes towards the Second Amendment? This project explores the what and why of American Jewish gun control opinion. I expect that this relationship will be explained in part, but not solely, by partisanship. I hypothesize that being Jewish, in addition to other variables such as religiosity and trust in the government, has a unique effect on one’s attitudes towards gun control. These variables may strongly impact one’s gun control attitudes, but I expect that the relationship between American Jews and gun control opinion will be maintained even when controlling for other factors.

I construct my argument by providing a complete literature review on American Jewry, gun control, and partisanship. This provides important historical background and recent literature to substantiate my argument. Then, I use empirical data from national surveys to perform statistical analysis. I highlight several key data points which demonstrate the unique relationship between American Jewish opinion and gun control, as well as other factors which help to shape this dynamic.

My findings are such that being Jewish has a unique effect on gun control opinion which cannot be solely explained by partisanship or other variables. I also tested the relationship between partisanship and gun control attitudes, and my findings support other empirical research in political science. Furthermore, I find that individuals who are less trustworthy of the government will be less likely to support strict gun control. Additionally, I find that religiosity affects attitudes towards gun control, both within and outside of the Jewish faith.


gun control, jews, american jews, partisanship, religiosity

Access Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration

Jewish Studies

First Advisor

Scott Meinke

Second Advisor

Chris Ellis